Sunday, November 12, 2006

Devotion: What God Does With Our Messes

What God Does With Our Messes

So Abimelech warned all the people, saying, "Whoever touches this man or his wife shall surely be put to death." -- Genesis 26:11; English Standard Bible

We've all made messes of things in our lives at some point or the other. I've made my share of mistakes, messes and committed my share of sins. I could tell you story after story after story, but I won't. I could share physical illustrations of this or I could share spiritual illustrations, but I won't. Instead, let's concentrate on the main thing, instead of the man thing; namely, let's put our focus squarely on God.

By now, due to the past few devotions, you know this story. A recap: Isaac and Rebekah moved to Gerar. God promised to bless them in that place. Isaac lied about his relationship with Rebekah, saying she was his sister rather than his wife. He was busted and came clean. Now...

Here, in today's chosen verse, we see clearly how God works our messes out for His glory and often for our good. We see it through continuing to put Isaac's story under the microscope. Abimelech had been pretty upset that Isaac's deception had caused the potential for himself or one of his subjects to commit adultery with Rebekah. Abimelech's response to this was unusual; one would think Abimelech would have punished Isaac. Instead, Abimelech basically says, "Anyone that does harm to Isaac or Rebekah will be put to death." This was the customary punishment for adultery among the Canaanite people. Not only that, but it had the king's personal stamp on it.

You might be thinking, So what? Read the next few verses (12-14) and you will clearly find that Isaac prospered in a big way. His crops produced a hundredfold. He had many herds and flocks and became a very wealthy man.

So, Isaac got lucky, right? NO!!! Don't forget the MAIN THING...GOD made a promise to bless Isaac (verse 3). You see, when Isaac did what he thought was wise to do he messed up. But, as is ALWAYS the case, the story is not really about Isaac. The story is about God. God is a promise keeper. God is a redeemer. God is a reconciler.

God can take our mess and use it. Isaac got the attention of Abimelech with a lie. God used that attention to insure Isaac's safety, which enhanced Isaac's opportunity to excel.

You've made messes. I have too. You might be in the midst of a mess right now. If we will come clean with the Lord, He will forgive us, give us a clean slate and set us back on the road to walking in His promises and receiving His blessings. And, get this, it won't be because you are good; it will be because HE is!

What mess have you made that you need to own-up to today? What thing MIGHT you be in the middle of today that you need to repent of? Do it! Believe me, when we are humble before our God, He can not only set things right, He can do far more than we could imagine or think.

Let God do a wonder beyond your mess today.

Grace and peace to you from God the Father and Jesus the Son,
Tim Bowes
Romans 12:1-2

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